tv [untitled] August 11, 2012 6:30am-7:00am PDT
police officers stood below with guns. if an untrained eye can do that, -- guy can do that, because he was surrounded by cops, he is a veteran and he was suffering ptsd, if he can do that without a gun or a taser, i should think that the police could stop murdering all of these people of color and all of these other people in the middle of an emotional state. you are going to make a decision about how you're going to use a semi-deadly weapon? tasers kill. we want more notice next time. this room was full. you could not get in the door. this is outrageous you are sitting here.
[applause] >> my name is william and i work for amnesty international. according to data collected, at least 500 people in the united states have died since 2001 after being shot with a taser eerie -- either during an arrest for a while in jail. 00 or while -- or while in jail. followed by florida, 65, tx 37. we acknowledge the importance of delivering non-lethal and less lethal force options to decrease their risk of death or
injury inherent in the use of firearms or other impact weapons such as batons. however, the use of stunts technology raises a number of concerns for the protection of human rights. although the u.s. law- enforcement agencies stressed safeguards to minimize the potential of abuse, and amnesty international believes these safeguards to knuckle far enough. -- do not go far and off. there have been reports of inappropriate or abusive use of tasers in various restrictions, sometimes involving a electronic shock. i have a report if you want that shows a report of a woman who was pregnant who was killed in california.
i sigh, her fetus was killed. -- i'm sorry, her fetus was killed. we also have reports of children and senior citizens as well. if you want this report, i would be happy to give it to you. >> can you give it to our secretary? >> next speaker. >> solo, commissioners. i am going to talk on a personal level to start. i am a social worker. i also work early in the morning and this has been a long day for me. i and fried. i am going to try to put it together as best i can. i want to say that i am a woman, i weigh about 110 pounds, my body mass index is
between 18 and 19. my heart rate is around 90. right now it is probably around 120. [laughter] for me, the question, which has been brought up a few times, would you rather be tased or shot is an irrelevant question. the way i would answer that question is the same way that the youth i work with, many of them used drugs and alcohol, and many of them have many kinds of interaction with the police, would probably respond in the same way. in good conscience, we cannot simply limit ourselves to asking the question, would you rather be tased or shot.
to thin women, pregnant women, people in crisis, people who may be substance users, i am here to stand up not just for the low body mass women of san francisco but also for the marginalized people who i am afraid, if we do not get an answer to that question, what is the best way to deal with people with mental health crisis? we do not get to an answer that is not involved potentially lethal solutions. we will have a huge problem on our hands that is worse than what we are facing right now and what we are facing is bad and it has hurt us all. i am to try to say anything else. i cannot remember what else i was going to say. i hope we can work in consultation around this issue rather than with three working
days notice to try to get something together. >> good evening, commissioners. i work with the homeless. one year and a half ago i was here when you passed a resolution instructing the chief of police. if you look at the instructions, it instructs the police to work with others. to consult with people of color , mental health professionals, and other segments of the community. everyone agrees this has not happened. i am perplexed as to why it has not happened. if tasers are a benefit, why not make its case? especially when you have committed it to doing so and there is some mistrust at this
point in time. if you do not hold the department to this commitment, you are disregarding the need to deal with these experts and you are electing department know it does not need to comply with its body in order to get what it's wants. a civilian oversight means anything, you need to insist they consult with people before we even have further confirmation -- conversation. two members have made this proposal and i hope he will support them. -- you will support them. >> commissioners, good evening. i will state this emphatically. i have gone on record for the past 12 months to get a man from the ranks, and i'm happy with the chief of police.
this is not an issue. that does not mean i am going to agree with everything he does. your job is not to rubberstamp anything the police department wants. it is to investigate it to the best of your ability. politics as well as economics. we are in a courtroom today where people are complaining they do not make $10,000 a year but we have officers here that probably make $1.5 million a year. now the police department wants a new weapon system. we had one officer fumble when we asked him what the cost would be. he could not be clear about it. he did not know what system we were talking about. you showed us a bazooka. what are we buying? we do not know. we are buying a weapon system we cannot afford. don't take my word for it.
oakland is broke. they have had a weapon system for 10 years. the companies have gone out of business. they never used the equipment. they do not have enough force to use the equipment. that is what we have here. the police department ordered them at 10,000 apiece before the chief are right. we do not have 17 horses. -- chief arrived. we do not have 17 horses. we order police car. that is where we stand. thank you for your time on this issue.
>> good evening, commissioners. in addition to being a photographer, i am also a secretary of the city's mental- health board and i participated designing training. i even delivered a small part of it as part of a small presentation. i am not categorically against tasers but i am concerned about them being used in a cit setting. i heard someone say memphis is doing it so we have to do it. i would like to think that through. when an officer is in a crisis situation. they are under stress, using the approach, that is one,de-escap -- one of de-escalation. i'm getting some feedback here.
sorry about that commissioners. i am concerned that when an officer is under stress and they have a weapon they can reach four, one that lowers the bar, that officer, it is easier to is that someone then talk them down. no disrespect to the police. when someone is under stress and someone sees a threat and they have a taser at their side, it could be used. it could be under my a -- undermined the ability to use the situation calmly. i hope that just because of memphis is using it, that is not justification for us to use it here yet more studies have to you be done and we have to look beyond studies that they're not financed by taser international. i'm not totally against it but i
hope you think it through. >> good evening. i am a resident of district 6 and then a former nurse. i was a registered nurse for 25 years before a became a history professor. i cannot tell you how many times i have had to deal with violent patients in the hospital. i am telling you that there are ways to deal with folks. none of us had any kind of arm when we were dealing with these folks. i worked on a neuroscience for which many people who were neurologically impaired, people who were on balance, -- unbalanced. drugs can make you go crazy. especially the elderly. have you ever seen reactions in
the elderly? i am not going to tackle a 70 year-old woman who goes a little berserk. i have to say that our last line of defense, the very last is to put someone in restraints. we really hate to do that. it is usually only used when the patient is going to harm themselves. not because they are going to harm us. my patients always came first. my duty to provide health always came first. i have put my self in the place of physical industry with people in the clinics, on the street, and i'm here to tell the tale after 25 years. i really respect the police. i am happy to have the police in
my neighborhood. and happy to feel they are doing their job. but those of us in the community cannot advise you on the alternatives. thank you very much. >> of our volunteer -- i volunteer. ditto everything bob said. i have been living long enough to remember when there were phrases like, if you say please you do not have to say police. i know we are in changing social times when there are a lot of problems and kids do not learn how to be polite in school, however you want to explain the crisis. there is a lot of demand all
over the place but adding another weapon might not be a solution. maybe if the police actually learned how to help the kids be polite by speaking respectfully and giving respect, this is an edges situation. language is always moving. if i said, to the wrong person i could be dead because i brought it out in the wrong situation. most people respect their mothers. it should not be such an edgy word. that is an example of words going in all different directions. perhaps he might buy your own copies of nonviolent communication and take alternative classes and maybe that would help.
>> good evening, as steve johnson with the police officers association. thank you to the chief for bringing this to the forefront. we come here with a different perspective because something you never see, which we do, is the officers involved in critical incidents. those are the ones we deal with, the bravest and the best in the world. it can be devastating to them and their families. like i said, and this is a good beginning. we do not care if there's going to be tasers or hypnosis but it has to be done. the more important discussion is, what ever you going to pick, how it is going to be implemented. when it can be used and when it cannot be used. to wait another 18 months for
this discussion to be had or some resolution that would be responsible and unreasonable. act on it, let's move on it. thank you. >> any further public comment? public comment is closed. line item number4. >> public comment on all matters pertaining to items 6 below, close the session and a vote whether to hold a closed session. >> before we do that, we need to discuss the calendar. >> i was premature on that. >> i did a ton of research on this and i want to talk about it. i recognize it is not a good night so i will not take you to hear it but i want to get a chance to share this.
maybe at a future meeting because i spent all of this time researching this, i wanted to highlight the impact on officers who are trained when the taser is used on them. it concerns me that officers when they sued because of the injuries, a taser international says they are not liable. this worries me and it impacts our officers so i want is to have more of a thorough discussion after this. i want to make sure i think the public coming out for -- on such short notice. >> especially toward the end, it it was a great to have a coherent conversation from all sides. we heard from the aclu without interruption. i want to thank most of you who are professional. people have strong feelings about this. thank you for bringing your
strong feelings so we can have a good conversation. i want to think that she for bringing this forward and the commissioners for dealing with this. commissioner chan, it is not unusual for her to put something together in 48 hours. we need to do is set some dates. the chief, at the new commissioners have been briefed. the more i look at this, we are exactly where we were 18 months ago with the resolution. we have taken the next step. so, actually, what we did was needless tonight because we're going to have a revision -- resolution we can operate off of. we need to set some dates and also we have to appoint two commissioners to work on this. commissioner chan has already been appointed. i need one another commissioner
willing to do this. commissioner loftus: i would volunteer. or if you feel strongly. >> i think we should have three. we have that. we need some dates as we move forward with the resolution and we need to move forward, again, this was brought to us because there was a concern about this last incident. there is a concern in his conscience that he had to do this. we need to move sooner than later. we need to take it to the next debt, or do we proceed with the resolution we already have? explore other options? or do we set a date and institute a new vote? >> what i did hear, i heard a lot of positive feedback about this process, getting committee impact and hearing from mental
health professionals, there are some steps we have to do. it seems as though this lays out what there is to do. we know who the parties are. i think it looks like the next step is we need to set up a way to get input from the community, a particular those mentioned in the resolution, and meet with the department. someone can correct me. >> you are proposing the committee do that. >> correct. >> i am going to pass around a sheet to get everyone's contact information. vice president marshall: it seems that the scope of the resolution has been narrowed by what we heard tonight. when that happened, it was about tasers in general.
it has now been narrowed to cit. i think there should be taken into consideration. again, based on what we heard tonight, what the chief is talking about, putting a pilot program, and losses becomes the pilot. that is fine. -- unless this becomes the pilot. that is fine. i just wanted to make that point. >> what we have done tonight is energize the prior resolution which authorized the study is looking into these things. we wasted our time with that
earlier but. i think we should do that. we have our committee. time is of the essence. we should have a report back regarding the investigation, the reach out to the community and the other options, other than tasers. frankly, there has been nothing found other than tasers. commissioner chan, we have asked. there is no alternative weapon at this point, unfortunately. what i would like to do, and now we have a committee. what we need to do, what type of timing would you like to see on this? >> what ever guesses to the 90 day deadline. president mazzucco: 10 we have a report back -- can we have a
report back in two weeks? >> i think we need to put it out further than that. >> fine. >> august 22, report back, i see where you are at. -- see where you are at. >> if it could put it out another month. 30 days. >> august 29, that is fine. >> the community meetings, that was why i did not bring this up. maybe what we could do is have a report on the first wednesday of every month for the next three months. >> that is why you are the
chief. you have a plan. president mazzucco: we cannot rubber-stamp everything you want to do. september 5 will be our first report from the committee and we will move the resolution forward looking at all options, including the chief's option for the pilot program and the crisis intervention officers. so now back to the next item. i apologize. >> item number four. public comment on an item 6 and whether to hold it in closed session. >> any comments regarding closed session? >> whether to hold it in closed
session and assert the attorney-client privilege in regards to write ups 6 b, c, and d. -- items 6b, c, d. we go into closed session. thank you.>> we are back in ope. commissioners present, you still have a quorum. >> a motion to disclose? >> i move that we do not disclosed. >> let's call last item, adjournment. >> item 8, adjournment. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> so moved.